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China Telecom Eyes 4G Launch, China Mobile Gets Aggressive

China Telecom Eyes 4G Launch, China Mobile Gets Aggressive

(Summary description)With the 4G telecoms era now formally begun, China’s 3 major telcos are suddenly rushing to give out more details about their plans in this new era of high-speed mobile communications. 

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With the 4G telecoms era now formally begun, China’s 3 major telcos are suddenly rushing to give out more details about their plans in this new era of high-speed mobile communications. In the latest news from this fast-moving story, media are reporting that China Telecom (CHA), the smallest of the nation’s 3 wireless carriers, will formally launch its 4G brand as soon as later this week. Meantime, leading telco China Mobile (CHL) has disclosed pricing plans that look quite aggressive for its 4G service in the city of Chongqing. I should also add I’m not surprised that we haven’t heard anything yet from the nation’s third telco, China Unicom (CHU), which has a recent history of slowness and disorganization in response to such major new developments.

This flurry of 4G news comes after the telecoms regulator last week issued licenses for the nation’s 3 major telcos to start offering 4G service. In a widely expected move, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) only gave the 3 major telcos licenses to offer 4G service based on a homegrown technology called TD-LTE. China Mobile has already built an extensive TD-LTE network. But Unicom and China Telecom would prefer to build networks based on the more globally accepted standard called FDD-LTE, and many expect the MIIT to issue 4G licenses for that standard sometime in 2014.

With all that background in mind, let’s start our latest 4G roundup with a look at China Telecom, which is reportedly planning to launch its 4G service in the near future, perhaps as early as December 10. (English article; Chinese article) Media reports say China Telecom has already chosen a name for its 4G service, but company officials declined to give the name. China Mobile is planning to formally launch its 4G service on December 18, and previous media reports said it would use the brand name He, translating roughly to peace or harmony.

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